Jersey Flegg unearths great talent
The 2018 Jersey Flegg season was an excellent year for the Bulldogs under coach Brad Henderson and it saw the team make their way through to the second week of the finals, before going down to the Cronulla Sharks.
Individually there were some strong performers throughout the season with the experience of Kayne Kalache, Elie El-Zackem, Sam Radovu, Dalton Smith and Brandon Wakeham leading the way, but the season also unearthed some great talent with the likes of Javvier Pitovao, Blake Clayton and Frank Kuresa all impressing Henderson.
Clayton played on the wing and at fullback throughout 2018 and was arguably one of the fastest players in the competition.
He was a first year 20s player who finished the season with 12 tries, 12 line-breaks and 73 tackle breaks.
"I'm really excited about Blake Clayton. We moved him around a bit this year and he is only a first year 20s kid. He got 12 tries and a massive amount of line breaks. There is no one faster in the competition than Blake Clayton, he's electric," said Henderson.
Meanwhile, winger Frank Kuresa crossed the try line on 7 occasions from 18 appearances.
The 19-year old was a handful for the opposition throughout the year with strong carries and his ability to break tackles. He finished the season with 63 tackle breaks and 8 line-breaks.
"Frank is a big, physical fast kid that I think could go a long way," Henderson added.
Javvier Pitovao arrived at the club from New Zealand and it was the back-rower's professionalism that stood out throughout the year.
He finished with 18 offloads from 18 games, 27 tackle breaks, three tries and averaged 75 run metres per game.
"He reminds you of a young Josh Jackson in a sense that his preparation and his attitude is just second to none. It shows on the field every week because you know what you are going to get," Henderson said.
The development within the group this year was a genuine reflection of the club's recruitment which enabled the improvement and level of knowledge the young kids need to progress to the senior groups and put the players who will continue in the Jersey Flegg program in a much stronger position than they were this time last season.